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I've been given the use of a really nice QH mare who HAS been really well trained but they didn't use her for 6 years, now she is quite stubborn and acts a bit silly sometimes. They gave me a tom thumb to use on her but I really don't like it, so I was going to train her in a snaffle. The only thing is, I'm a little nervous that she will run away on me because she is VERY strong and wants to run a lot. She neck reins, in fact she ONLY neck reins, and gets kinda ****y when you direct rein her, so I'm wondering how she would react to a one rein stop. I was just wondering, would it be best to try her in the snaffle or should I just keep going in the tom thumb? If I can get her working normally in a tom thumb then should I move down? I really hate using anything harsher than a snaffle but she's been ridden like that for so long and I'm nervous :?
 

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I think you should at least try a snaffle. Just make sure you are working with bumps and tugs not long pulls. The more constant pressure you put on the reins the more likely the horse is to just brace against the bit and ignore you.

I wouldn't worry too much about the one rein stop. The horse has to follow it's nose and as long as you get her head pulled around she'll have to stop going forward. You can also try lunging her before you ride to get rid of a little excess energy if you're concerned about her running off with you.
 

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First, you have to teach the one rein stop not just go to yanking your horses head around. Any horse should have lateral flexion so it's a good thing to work on. I would ride her in the bit that was suggested to you. Why would you buy a well trained horse and not take advantage of it. Many older horses that have been ridden in a curb bit for a while do not go well in a snaffle. Don't follow trends just do what's right for your horse.
 

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however, going mildly away from kevin's philosophy, my horse was in a curb when i bought him and we wound up moving to a snaffle, and it works better, and i've discovered a twisted snaffle to be the best. (TT netted ZERO response)

if what you're using works, then keep it for now. if it's lacking, then experiment some.
 

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A tom thumb is really not a "harsh" bit to begin with... My mare personally hated a snaffle at first and I broke her in a tom thumb b/c it was the only thing she liked. If you want to try a plain snaffle I'd work with the horse on the ground 1st while it's wearing it... judge your horse's reaction and move on from there.
 

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All my horses are able to ride in snaffles, I run barrels in snaffles. there are so many different kinds of snaffle and different levels that it's worth a shot to try one. you could try something like a twisted copper snaffle, whenever I am putting a new horse back in a snaffle they love it. she might actually be getting irritated because of the tom thumb, that bit has shanks and it sounds like she was trained to be very light in it so if you are pulling on it to much she WILL get irritated, so for you I would try a snaffle.....just start in a smaller arena first.
 
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